Organizations need people with leadership skills, and it is why they send their staff to different leadership training programs. The results of such pieces of training are not up to the mark for various reasons. A more effective way to train employees for leadership is a mentor who can analyze every individual and prepare them for leadership roles. Many organizations now have experienced and dedicated mentors who help mentees develop leadership skills.
Following are the ways how mentors can develop leadership skills in mentees:
Mentoring Can Increase Self-Awareness of Mentees
An employee needs to be self-aware of himself to become a leader. A mentor helps an employee see his blind spots to avoid mistakes in the future. Leadership roles come with great responsibility, and you cannot afford to make common mistakes. Being self-aware of yourself enables you to change yourself, which prevents you from making mistakes.
Mentoring Can Broaden Mentees’ Functional Perspective
A broad functional perspective is crucial for leaders because a leader must consider several factors for making the right decisions. For example, a marketing manager should not just focus on marketing the products. He should also consider factors such as organizational issues and the capabilities of his team members. A mentor can help the marketing manager develop a broader functional perspective, and it will strengthen his managerial skills and prepare him for future leadership roles.
Mentoring Helps Mentees with Developing the Network They Need to Grow
Having an extensive network of professionals is your strength because you can exchange information and ideas. Your network enables you to reach successful leaders and benefit their experiences, also uncovers job opportunities, informs you of industry trends, and expands your contact list. Your mentor can help you grow your network for your success. You can also benefit from your mentor’s network that includes thousands of successful professionals. A mentor teaches his mentees how to develop networking skills and encourages them to seize every networking opportunity.
Mentoring Can Increase Communication and Interpersonal Skills in the Mentees
Communication and interpersonal skills are essential to succeed in any organization because you must interact with different people every day. Most people take years to learn the appropriate response to a difficult situation. A mentor knows the importance and value of humanistic qualities for a leader. Mentors develop interpersonal and communication skills in mentees, so they know how to behave in different situations.
Reverse Mentoring Programs Can Help Mentees Develop Leadership Skills
In most cases, the mentors are older and more experienced professionals, while the mentees are young professionals with no or little experience. However, reverse mentoring is a reality where the mentor is a junior employee while the mentee is a senior employee.
Reverse mentoring is an excellent way for junior employees to develop leadership skills. Once they become a mentor, they start to develop confidence in their own abilities while benefiting from their mentees’ knowledge and experience regarding leadership.
All organizations need professionals that can take up leadership roles for the organization’s success and sustainability. Many employees fail to become successful leaders due to a lack of leadership skills.
A modern approach to deal with this issue is to implement mentorship programs in organizations. With the help of these programs, employees become more self-aware, grow their network, broaden their functional perspective, develop new skills and eventually become good candidates for leadership roles.